"Hope and change doesn't put money in your account to buy textbooks or pay off your student loans," Kosek said. "It doesn't help you get a job after you graduate either, and I think a lot of students are realizing that now."
However, some don't see conservatism as a rising trend on college campuses.
"There's still a lot of enthusiasm out there for the Democrats," said Ashlei Blue, traditional media director for College Democrats of America. "Maybe not as much as there was in 2008, but considering it's a midterm, not a presidential election year, we've still got a huge number of new registrations."
President of the College Democrats at the University of Delaware Bill Humphrey reports his membership is stable. Even if more students are joining the Republican Party, he said, the number of liberal students remains consistent.
Humphrey, a junior, believes the number of students identifying with the Republican Party slipped over the past eight years due to negative perceptions of President George W. Bush. Now, he adds, conservative students are "willing to be labeled Republican again."
In a surprise upset, conservative Christine O'Donnell won the Republican nomination for Joe Biden's U.S. Senate seat over the more moderate Mike Castle, a two-term governor and longtime Congressman.
For Dan Boselli, president of College Republicans at the University of Delaware, O'Donnell's win shows that voters, including students, are "voting for their own values as opposed to voting for electability."
In a heavily Democratic state, Boselli believes that O'Donnell "will have difficulty winning in November."
His club plans on endorsing O'Donnell, but currently has no plans to volunteer for or financially contribute to her campaign. The organization will put its time and effort toward state and local elections in which the Republican candidate has a "more viable chance of winning."
Humphrey also said new seekers of the Republican Party are not necessarily loyal patrons.
"Right now, the economy is putting a drag on the Democrats," Humphrey said. "But students are not flocking to the Republican Party. They are turning away from the Democrats, and the Republicans happen to be the only alternative."
Sterling Davenport, a University of Florida senior and self-described independent, said the amount of conservative students is stable, but those voters are simply becoming more vocal.
Davenport, a history major also studying political science, believes Republicans are now following what he calls the "Obama model," a method of campaigning centered on visibility of candidates and passion of supporters. He said the enthusiasm behind Obama's 2008 campaign was successful, and the Republicans are now trying to mimic it.
"Now the Republicans are realizing what the Democrats realized a long time ago," Davenport said. "There is strength in numbers, and now the Republicans on campus are really trying to band together to push their agenda."
Davenport said young Republicans, who may have felt they were unable to reveal their political leanings in the 2008 election due to the fervor behind Obama's campaign, are now more vocal about their opinions.
"I don't think we're necessarily seeing an upswing in Republicanism," Davenport said. 'We're seeing an upswing in activism."